A group of about half-a-dozen armed men broke open a window, tied up his parents

A 32-year-old man, the son of a former Delhi Director of Prosecution, was murdered at his residence in Preet Vihar here allegedly by a group of about half-a-dozen armed men who also robbed the family of valuables and cash in the early hours of Thursday.

It is suspected that victim Animesh Datta was smothered to death with a pillow.

The dacoits struck around 2-30 a.m. when Animesh and his parents – 65-year-old S. K. Datta and 62-year-old Prabha Datta – were asleep in two different rooms on the ground floor of their house in B-Block of Madhuban in East Delhi.

Recalling the events leading to the ransacking of the house and the alleged murder of his son, Mr. Datta said the dacoits broke open a window close to the room where he and his wife were sleeping to enter the room.

It is suspected that the accused gained entry into the house by breaking open the window using iron rods.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that around six to seven men, armed with firearms, knives and iron rods and with their faces covered, were in our room. They were tying us up with rope-like things they had made out by twisting torn off pieces of the bed sheets kept in the room,” said Mr. Datta.

He added that soon it became clear that the men had come to rob them. “One of them held me at gun-point and two others placed knives on my neck even as the remaining persons kept tying both of us.”

Mr. Datta said the men then questioned the couple about the valuables in the house and whether there were other people in the house, including on the floor above.

Having tied up the couple, the accused went to other rooms, including the drawing room where Animesh was sleeping, and broke open all the cupboards and closets.

“As we were woken up in the middle of the night and I had consumed a sleeping pill before going to sleep, I was feeling a little dizzy but my wife heard my son’s voice once while we were tied up and the attackers had moved to other rooms,” said Mr. Datta.

The entire raid lasted about half-an-hour after which the men decamped with some cash, mobile phones and some jewellery, including the pieces Ms. Datta was wearing, said Mr. Datta.

A little later Ms. Datta managed to untie herself and then untied Mr. Datta as well.

The couple immediately moved to their son’s room and found him lying motionless. The house had been completely ransacked.

The couple also alerted their tenants living on the first floor, who made a call to Mr. Datta’s daughter who lives in the same area. A call was also made to the Police Control Room and several police teams, including from crime and forensics, visited the scene.

Both Mr. Datta and a neighbour said that the residents’ welfare association has employed several watchmen but none of them came to know about the incident.

According to Mr. Datta, the attackers were speaking in Hindi and he saw the face of one of the attackers as the cloth, with which he had covered it, came off.

The police are now trying to get the sketch of the culprit made to identify him and the rest of the gang members.

Animesh was unmarried and had been running a garments business, said his father.

A case has been registered under several sections of the Indian Penal Code including those pertaining to murder and dacoity. No arrests had been made till Thursday evening.

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